Food For Fall: Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Well, it is a new work week and I am left clinging to the memories of the weekend.. Luckily, I have a little weekend deliciousness left over for lunch today to help get me over this case of the Mondays: Pot Roast with carrots, garlic mashed potatoes, and brown gravy. Yes.. it was/is/is going to be delicious. ** See below for the recipe**

My husband returned from a week long conference on Saturday afternoon. Needless to say, I did not want to be stuck in the kitchen instead of spending time with him, BUT I did want to have a nice home cooked meal made for him. Light bulb! Slow cooker to the rescue! I knew we added this bad boy to our wedding registry for a reason.

So, perhaps if I had not strayed from the recipe, dinner might have been ready on time.. but I was trying something new… trying to improvise.. trying to use this stupid slow cooker that has been hiding in the cabinet for 6 months… Alas, what was supposed to be 3 hours in the oven at 275 turned into 6 hours in the slow cooker on high.

Pizza and wings were ordered at hour 4…

Fast forward 22 hours – The pot roast was cooked and went into the fridge the previous night, so before I put it back in the slow cooker to re-heat, I skimmed off the fat that solidified on the surface (healthy pot roast? Not quite…). About an hour on high and voila! We had the perfect stick to your bones, cold fall weather, football watching kinda food!  Julia was right,”In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” Saturday’s fiasco was Sunday’s feast.

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Simmering away to perfection. Try not to lift the lid while it cooks.. I just couldn’t help myself.

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Starting the rue for the brown gravy. Whisk, whisk, whisk and BE PATIENT! The rue should turn a terracotta color before you add the beef stock.

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Patience and persistence is rewarded! Perfect brown gravy! TIP: steal some of the broth from the pot roast to use in the gravy instead of just using plain beef stock. This will give your gravy more flavor and dimension.

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Perfectly tender and juicy. The pot roast should pull apart easily with a fork.

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Don’t forget your veggies!!

Recipe: 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb chuck roast (look for good marbling throughout, but not excessive fat.. trim if needed)
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • 2 large, yellow onions
  • about 8 carrots (you can use baby carrots here instead)
  • 1 cup full bodied red wine
  • 1 box (32 oz) beef stock
  • about 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • about 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare your slow cooker, but leave turned off for now.

Generously (very generously) season with Kosher salt. I used a lot of salt here, but less salt throughout the recipe. I like to smear and pat the salt over the entire roast making sure there is a even layer. Let your chuck roast come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. This will help the outside brown without drying out and helps the inside cook evenly.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet (I like a stainless steel or cast iron) with coating of olive oil. Slice your onions into 8 pieces (that is halving them 3 times) and add to the pan. Cook until they begin to caramelize. Remove and put into the  slow cooker. Place the carrots in the pan and cook for a few minutes until they begin to brown slightly. Remove the carrots to the slow cooker. Spread the onions and carrots over the bottom of the slow cooker to make an even layer of veggies.

Add a little more olive oil to the pan if needed before searing the roast on all sides. This means the 2 big flat sides as well as the edges. Giving the meat a good sear will enhance the flavors of the meat as well as make it more visually appealing when cooked. Remove the roast and place into the slow cooker.

Pour the red wine into the hot skillet and vigorously whisk to deglaze the pan. By introducing the liquid to the hot pan and whisking/scraping away, it will get all of the flavor up off the pan so you can add it to the roast. Once the sizzling has subsided and you have gotten all of the yummy bits from the pan, pour the liquid over the roast and veg. Now add the beef stock to the slow cooker so that just over half of the roast is covered. Add the rosemary and thyme. Add pepper to taste. Since I salt the meat heavily, I do not add more salt here.

Crank up the slow cooker and cook on high for about 6 hours.

Pot Roast recipe was adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Pot Roast.

For the Gravy

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in a skillet. Once melted, slowly add in 1.5 tablespoons of all purpose flour, whisking continuously. The rue should be thick at first but loosen up as it heats. Allow to brown to a terracotta color while whisking continuously. Once the rue has browned, slowly add about 2 cups of the broth from the roast. Whisk hard so no lumps form. Season with salt and pepper (be careful not to over salt, we added a lot to the roast already).

For the Potatoes

Peal and quarter 4-5 russet potatoes. Boil until tender, about 12 minutes. Remove to a large mixing bowl. To the potatoes, add 2-3 cloves minced garlic, 1 stick of butter, and about 1/2 cup of milk. Mash away. Salt to taste.

Enjoy!!

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